An increasing number of leisure travelers are choosing boats over airplanes, an industry insider says. Increasingly expensive baggage fees and lengthy delays at airports are among the reasons cited by leisure travelers for opting for cruises rather than flight and stay packages, an on line social media poll reveals.
According to a report published by the United States Bureau of Transportation, airlines in the United States collected close to US$900 million in baggage fees and US$600 million in reservation change fees during the third quarter of 2011.
Pictured: Oceanliner Grandeur of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise
Excessive Fees and High Fuel Surcharges
Excessive fees and charges together with gasoline prices driving up the price of airline tickets are causing some travelers to look for alternative vacation options, and a growing number of them are deciding to take a cruise rather than flying somewhere and then staying at a hotel or a resort.
Since most Americans live within a six hour drive of a cruise ship port, that makes ocean voyages an attractive option.
What is interesting is that while airfares continue to rise, cruise fares are actually dropping – especially if your book your cruise late.
"For those of you who are flexible with your travel, it can pay to wait until the last minute," says Steven Fischer, Vice President of Cruise Development at Travel Holdings, Inc.
"That's when cruise lines need to unload inventory, so stay on top of deals through last minute booking sites like LastMinuteCruises.com and LastMinuteTravel.com. To get a great deal you don't have to book six months in advance."
Value for Money
With cruising, getting there quite literally is half the fun – perhaps even more than half the fun. There are lots of things to see and do on board a ship. Meals are usually included. And there are all kinds of facilities, activities, and entertainment.
If you factor in the cost of transportation, accommodation, meals, and entertainment, a cruise can actually cost you less money than a conventional holiday.
Unpacking and Packing
With a cruise, not only can you take more things on board that you could ever afford to take if you travel by airplane, you also only have to pack and unpack once – at the beginning and at the end of your voyage.
"Whether you are traveling with your family, friends or planning a romantic getaway, there is a cruise ship, price point, and destination perfect for every traveler," Steven says.
"Take a much deserved vacation this spring and start it off right with a drink in hand waving bon voyage as you set sail to sea – instead of waiting in the airport bar for your delayed flight that cost you an arm and a leg."
Copyright: Michael Taylor